Healthy soil means healthy plants, but do you know which gardening habits can negatively affect the soil? From excessive digging to fertilizing, some of our good intentions are not necessarily good.
To celebrate World Soil Day (Sunday, December 5), J. Parker encourages green-fingered gardeners to put the soil in excellent condition. The cold winter temperatures can mean that many of us neglect our garden, but it is worth paying attention to the soil.
“We’re talking to so many people who want to get the most out of their soil and make sure their plants have the best environment,” says Shannen Godwin, a cultivation expert at J. Parker’s.
“In fact, it can often happen that people do too much to try to improve their soil. The secret in many cases is that doing less can be better for the soil and also reduces hard work!
Take a look at the surprising mistakes you can make …
1. Walk on the ground
The soil is one of the most wonderful things in nature, but be careful not to walk on it after rain. According to Shannen, walking on wet lawns or garden beds can compact the soil underneath, making it difficult for the roots to grow and develop.
“This may be especially true in areas with clay soils. So try to wait a few days after the rain for the soil to dry before standing on it, ”Shannen adds.
2. Adding sand
While many gardeners use sand to loosen the soil, this can often degrade the soil as it becomes cement. Instead of reaching for sand, Shannen suggests adding organic matter such as cut grass and shredded leaves that break up soil particles. You will have a healthy land soon.
3. Use of fresh manure
Many vegetable gardeners swear by the benefits of fertilizer as a fertilizer, but it can actually damage the soil and plants as it contains large amounts of chemicals that can burn the roots of the plant.
“Fertilizer is really good for roses, but choose composted or matured fertilizer that is at least six months old,” Shannen says. “It can help increase nutrient and soil structure without the risk of plant damage.”
4. Digging and paving
Gardening without digging is a simple cultivation method designed to minimize soil disturbance – and it is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy soil appearance. If you want to keep your garden in boat shape, it is better to avoid digging or covering the ground, as this will disrupt the structure that has already formed.
Shannen recommends that you dig the plants with compost (as well as organic matter and aged manure) and try to minimize digging to a depth of less than six inches. Miraculously, this focuses on filling the soil with nutrient-rich compost, not over-digging.
5. Add fertilizer
“The first answer to bad soil is to add fertilizer,” Shannen says. “Adding fertilizer, however, can be harmful unless you know what nutrients the soil needs. If you add fertilizer without knowing the condition of the soil, you run the risk of upsetting the balance and adding too much nutrients, and when this overload occurs, the plants may struggle.
Fertilizers are used to improve plant growth, but it is important to do a soil test first. Shannen explains, “It gives a pH between 0-14. A score at the lower end means the soil is too acidic; a higher number means that the soil is too alkaline, you can find the right fertilizer for the soil. ‘
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